I’m not sure that this applies to all infertiles but it definitely applies to me and I’m sure many other women.
I definitely mother our cats. We were never meant to be cat people. I was a dog lover. They were my preferred pet. I had a Teddy bear puppy before I met Ken and we had a short time with a Doberman. (We didn’t think about whether a dog fit into our life or not so we had to find him a family that he was right for.) Boots was Frack’s cat that he “rescued from the cold” and is incredibly creepy. She’s like that creepy family member that no one wants to have around. She’s not affectionate; she just sits there and stares. It squicks me out. I would be lying if I didn’t say I am just waiting for her to die. I’m a bad person like that. But she’s just so creepy.
I always say our cat Buttons was a wedding gift but she’s actually mine because I was having such a hard time dealing with infertility. She just happened to be ready to go on our wedding day.
She is a spoiled little princess. I even turn the bathroom sink on for her every time I go into the bathroom so she can drink running water.
Our third cat, Puddin’, came to us by chance. We had decided two cats were enough for our family. My friend Mary lives across the street from a woman who works at the local Humane Society. Stupid people are always dropping animals off at her house hoping she will take them to the shelter. Idiots. They’re more likely to get hit by a car. So Mary and I were outside one day and this cute little kitten came up to us, purring and rubbing up against our legs. Really sweet. She also had a gimpy back leg, kind of like club foot. The neighbor said she would take her in if no one claimed her. Well, my protective instincts kicked in. I was going to take her home and find a home for her because who would pay a lot of money to adopt a gimpy legged cat? She would end up euthanized. I brought her to my house and my sister was going to take her in a couple days.
That should have been the end of the story but K is a sucker for something pretty and nice. That’s how he ended up with me. So he came home from work and was all “HELL NO!”. He didn’t want to bring a cat home without discussing it first. I told him I already found a home for her. Later that night, he got up from bed to go to the bathroom (where we had Puddin’) and came back to bed and asked how badly I wanted to keep her. She was really sweet and cuddly so I said kinda sorta wanna keep her. Now, we have this witchy cat who bullies Boots. She can be very sweet though and is very cuddly. And I am only allowed to bring home another animal if I buy K a $500 gun first. It keeps the animal hoarding at bay.
So back to the topic of infertility. I treat these cats like babies. I consider them our furry children. I know if we had a baby, I wouldn’t be such a cat lady freak. I also know I’m not the only infertile who transfers their desire to mother a child onto their pets. A pet needs its human like a baby needs its parent. They both depend on this person for food, socialization, cleanliness and for someone to love. It’s only natural that someone who desires a child would treat a pet like a child.
I sometimes wonder if I’m crazy. I worry about turning into a cat lady if I don’t have my own child. I think my children think I love the cats more than them. I don’t but Frick and Frack are too old to cuddle so the cats receive much more affection. I also know I’m not the only one who feels this way. And with that thought, I know I’ll be okay, whether or not I have a baby.